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How To Arrange Furniture In An Awkward Living Room?

How To Arrange Furniture In An Awkward Living Room

How To Arrange Furniture In An Awkward Living Room

Living rooms come in all shapes and sizes, but some are more awkward than others.

It may be a deliberate design decision on the part of the architect, or just a result of the house or apartment’s particular style.

However it came to be, odd shaped rooms can be a challenge to furnish.

So, we have put together this guide on how to arrange furniture in an awkward living room.


First we need to consider function. What is the main purpose of your living room?

Do you use it as a relaxing area to chill and watch TV or does it double as a dining room?

Perhaps it’s where your kids like to play, or maybe it's more for entertaining guests.

Once you have focused on your living room’s main function it can make it easier to decide where to place your furniture.

Grouping different types of furniture together according to their function makes the process a lot easier and defines different areas.


Zoning is all about defining the function of a particular space with a room.

There are many ways to do this including with lighting, carpets, and of course furniture.

Awkward living rooms may be trickier to zone, but that doesn’t mean it’s not possible.

Two or three different zones in a living room can make all the difference to how you utilize the space.

It also makes it much easier to furnish when you know what the space is going to be used for.

If there is limited space in a small living room you can use multi purpose furniture such as ottomans or swivel chairs.

Size & Shape

Size & Shape

The size and shape of your living room is a major factor in how you place your furniture.

You may think a large room is easy to furnish, but many people find it difficult to fill the space.

The temptation to push all the seats to the walls is common, resist it.

Instead, divide the room into smaller spaces according to their function.

Having a distinct seating arrangement in the center of the room creates a shape within a shape for you to work with.

Other zones then follow more easily such as a dining area or quiet reading nook.

A long and narrow living room can limit your layout options but using a sectional sofa that fits on two walls can create a cozy feeling.

While poufs instead of a coffee table function as extra seating or for putting your feet up.

Small rooms can feel cramped but be clever and use vertical space.

This creates a different eye line and will take attention away from the size of the floor space.

Use pieces of art or collections of photographs to create this effect while mirrors give the illusion of more space.

Open-plan living rooms may seem ideal, but they come with their own challenges especially if you also have a lot of windows.

Create zones with seats such as sectional sofas, coffee tables, armchairs or dining furniture.

Float the furniture in this type of room and keep it from blocking the windows.

Strategic lighting can help differentiate between zones and curved edges on the furniture soften the angles of the room.

An odd shaped living room with awkward angled walls or lots of nooks and crannies can be used to good effect.

Use these spaces to place interesting plants or pieces of art and use mood lighting to either enhance or diminish the angles of the walls.

Traffic Flow

Traffic flow doesn’t mean having the highway coming through your living room. It is how people typically move through the space.

You shouldn’t have to negotiate your way around pieces of furniture so keep a clear path through high traffic areas.

In an awkward living room this may take more thought but is fundamental for the function of the room.

Keep windows and doorways clear too, not only for ease of movement but also for safety reasons.

Make moving around the room a pleasant experience and not like negotiating an obstacle course.

For tight spaces use furniture with curved or rounded edges to create a flow while avoiding sharp corners.

Furniture Placement

Where you place your furniture in an awkward living room will depend on the size and shape of the space as well as the room’s function.

It’s best to start with the biggest items which is usually a sofa, this will serve as the foundation for the furniture placement.

The seating area is the heart of the living room and should be set up for ease of conversation and watching TV.

For living room/dining room combinations two or more separate zones will highlight the function of each space.

A right angled sofa can create a partition between the two or a free standing bookcase will serve as a divide.

Room Planner

If you are still struggling with furniture placement in an awkward living room, don’t despair there is plenty of help available.

Get some inspiration with online room planning tools. These come in 2D or 3D versions and help you to visualize what different furniture layouts look like.

These tools can save a lot of time and sweat, no more rearranging furniture over and over until it looks right.

Not only can you see where in the living room your piece of furniture should go but also what shapes and sizes would work best.

You can also add details such as lighting, rugs, and decorative features such as plants and mirrors to get the full effect of your finished and furnished living room.

Many online planners are free for basic tools, and you can upgrade for more features.

Final Thoughts

An awkward living room can be tricky, but it doesn’t have to be a chore. Instead see it as a challenge and the finished product as your prize.

The thought and effort that goes into creating a pleasant living environment will be worth it.

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